Self­ish am­bi­tions hin­der progress


THE GREAT­EST hin­drance to mankind in build­ing and ad­vanc­ing a na­tion or an or­gan­i­sa­tion is the fo­cus on ‘self’.

The suc­cess of great re­form­ers and vi­sion­ar­ies of the past was that they put oth­ers and the progress of oth­ers above self. For change to take place, lo­cally and glob­ally, we need first to look at the ‘self’ that stands in our way: Self-cen­tred Self-con­trol Self-es­teem Self-in­ter­est Self-made ‘Selfie’ Self-con­fi­dence Self-taught Self-ab­sorp­tion Self-re­liance Self-con­scious Self-suf­fi­cient When we be­gin to al­low God to deal with ‘self’ and we be­gin to look into our­selves and see the need for change, then we will ex­pe­ri­ence change. Noth­ing is wrong with the coun­try. The prob­lem is with the na­tion – that is, the peo­ple. Many times, peo­ple talk about a coun­try or an or­gan­i­sa­tion be­ing wicked; but the coun­try or or­gan­i­sa­tion is not wicked. It is the peo­ple. Be­cause of self­ish am­bi­tion, our politi­cians would not unite to ad­dress the is­sues and put the na­tion or peo­ple first.


We are now see­ing Bri­tain putting their policies and eco­nomic and im­mi­gra­tion re­forms to­gether for the ben­e­fit of the peo­ple of their na­tion. Mean­while, Ja­maica and the Caribbean are lagging be­hind be­cause of ‘self’. Some (on ei­ther side) say: ‘If my party or my favourite peo­ple are not lead­ing, then I will not sup­port it. Like­wise, the sleep­ing gi­ant called the Church will not unite to bring change un­less it is their favourite leader or their own or­gan­i­sa­tion or con­gre­ga­tion lead­ing the charge. Our self­ish­ness and self-cen­tred­ness are block­ing growth, hin­der­ing true pros­per­ity, and an en­tire gen­er­a­tion is now suf­fer­ing as a re­sult.

James 3: 16 says, “For where envy and self-seek­ing ex­ist, con­fu­sion and ev­ery evil thing are there.”

Self­ish am­bi­tions bring dis­or­der within so­ci­ety; and re­gard­less of what mea­sures or sys­tems are im­ple­mented – body cam­eras, lie de­tec­tors and so on – we are only shift­ing it from one cat­e­gory of peo­ple to an­other.

Philip­pi­ans 2: 3-4 says, “Let noth­ing be done through self­ish am­bi­tion or con­ceit, but, in low­li­ness of mind, let each es­teem oth­ers bet­ter than him­self. Let each of you look out not only for his own in­ter­ests, but also for the in­ter­ests of oth­ers.”

Even in the mar­ket­place, those who have been given the op­por­tu­nity and favour to make it, in turn be­come self­ish and hin­der an­other from emerg­ing. They would pre­fer to put leg­is­la­tion and mo­nop­o­lis­tic mea­sures in place to stop some new peo­ple from ben­e­fit­ing and de­vel­op­ing for the bet­ter­ment of the na­tion. There are even lead­ers who would rather die in of­fice at the ex­pense of the na­tion, rather than el­e­vat­ing oth­ers to run with the ba­ton. They pre­fer to talk about longevity of their ten­ure and what records they can break.


On a global level, when we look at what is tak­ing place in Syria – the deaths of thou­sands take place daily be­cause lead­ers want to dom­i­nate and de­ter­mine how pow­er­ful they are glob­ally. They would pre­fer to see peo­ple die than to bring a peace­ful so­lu­tion to the ta­ble. Pride, ar­ro­gance and self­ish am­bi­tion were what caused Ne­buchad­nez­zar to be turned into a beast at the hand of God.

It was self­ish am­bi­tion that led to Gen­e­sis 11: 4. Ev­ery­body wanted to build, but only to make a name for them­selves. They wanted to build a sys­tem with­out God. They wanted the ben­e­fits of God with­out sub­mit­ting to the rule of God. They wanted to cre­ate a life­time legacy that would keep them in power. We are now see­ing many em­pires crash­ing down be­cause of the self­ish am­bi­tions of oth­ers.

Self­ish am­bi­tions cause poverty and crime to in­crease, as there is great im­bal­ance in the dis­tri­bu­tion of re­sources, na­tion­ally and glob­ally. It is the ‘me, my­self and I syn­drome’ at work.

When we be­gin to put the in­ter­ests of oth­ers, the vi­sion of a na­tion or or­gan­i­sa­tion above our own, or even com­pli­ment and es­teem oth­ers above self, then sig­nif­i­cantly more will be achieved at ev­ery level. So, we need to teach our chil­dren at home from an early age how to share and care about oth­ers, how to show favour and mercy to oth­ers, and that no man is an is­land. We need to teach our chil­dren and young peo­ple, and re­mem­ber our­selves, that we must nec­es­sar­ily care about what hap­pens to an­other and to those around us near or far, known or un­known to us, and to use our re­sources wisely so that we all ex­pe­ri­ence progress.

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